I’ve just spent the last 3 weeks on tour, North Island of New Zealand 7 talks, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Dalby, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Caboolture. During this time I’ve felt fully immersed in food and people, there never seemed to be time to think about much else. What has become so painfully clear to me is that we are in trouble with regards to health.
After every talk I probably spent up to 2 hours talking to people individually, they told me their darkest health woes. At times I felt helpless as their problems were so monumental and I knew it meant time and education in order for changes to happen.
The biggest thing I noticed was the absolute blind faith we have in science, medicine and food companies. This blind faith has resulted for those I spoke to into a space of depression, misinformation and severe health problems.
One young lady told me that she was 27 a single Mum and was trying to get off her anti depressants that she was put on by her doctor when she was 17 and doing year 12. She wasn’t coping with the stress of her final year at school so her doctor prescribed anti depressants. Now 10 years on, no matter how she tries she can not get off her antidepressants.
I had another lady in her 60’s who told me that when she turned 50 she went to her doctor for a check up. At that stage she was fit, healthy and full of life. Her doctor gave her a blood test and told her that her cholesterol was high, so he prescribed statin drugs to lower her cholesterol, from there she couldn’t sleep so sleeping tablets, and then over a period of time she was prescribed one medication after another, now she is on a concoction of drugs, and she told me that she just doesn’t want to live anymore and thinks that it would be easier to just die.
Another story where a beautiful woman told me her son had acne and he was prescribed medication, he was a happy young man, at university, loving life and no signs of depression. After he started taking the medication he committed suicide, she said when she read the product information for the drug that suicidal tendencies was one of the side affects.
A mother approached me and told me about her 20 year old daughter who had been on dexamphetamine for the past 15 years, she was not coping with university and was now being prescribed anti depressants.
Story after story like this emerged and I had a thought that what we need now is a drug rehabilitation program for people on prescribed medications. I believe there is a bigger legal drug problem than illegal drugs and these people need a place to find sanctuary and to withdraw from the psychotrophic, beta blocking, cholesterol lowering, blood pressure, diabetes drugs. There is evidence that a body can live without these but precautions must be taken as withdrawal can sometimes be deadly and there should be medical as well as nurturing supervision.
The refined industrialised foods that we eat do not nourish our bodies or our minds and therefore we do become sick. The normal thing to do is to see a doctor. The doctor is taught to diagnose the problem and prescribe medication. This is what the average doctor does! They do not teach diet or lifestyle changes in fact it is rare for them to ask what you eat. I was talking with a friend recently who told me her 22 year old boy was diagnosed with Chrons disease ( a disease of the gastrointestinal tract), the doctor immediately prescribed medication and did not ask the boy about what he ate. When she told me I just shook my head in disbelief.
The average dietitian will prescribe a diet that is low in fat, salt and sugar and suggest that you use the heart tick for your food choices or recommendations by the diabetic association of artificial sweeteners and low fat foods (usually high in sugar) hmmmm!
There is a belief out there that breakfast cereals are the best thing for breakfast, that margarine is better than butter, that salt is bad for you, milk should be pasteurised, skimmed and homogenised, that sugar causes diabetes, that saturated fats should be avoided at all costs, that cholesterol lowering drugs will help us live longer and that science is infallible.
There are two trains of thought. One is that science knows all, technology is our saviour there is a drug to cure all diseases and that you have no control of your destiny because your genes are fixed and your destiny predetermined from the day you are born. The other way of thinking and this is the minority, is that there is a belief that the body has the wisdom to be healthy given the right resources in the way of food, sunlight, water, air and activity. And in case of emergency seek medical advise, otherwise feed the body nourishing foods that it has evolved to eat, look after diet and the human frame and health will abound.
These two different trains of thought cannot live together, you either have to be in one camp or the other and when you try and talk across the fence a war erupts as the belief systems are so different and opposing. I’ve learnt the hard way not to try and convince the other camp but rather work with people who have a belief in the wisdom of the body and the wisdom of natural foods.
I called a friend the other day as I felt so frustrated and outraged by the hurt and pain people were feeling when they followed the science, technology foods and medication camp. I asked my friend was it ever going to change? Were people going to ever wake up to the fact that the food they are eating out of the grocery store, in colourful packages, adorned with health claims and filled with non food items, were making them fat and sick and that if they took medications to deal with the health problem then it would just perpetuate a life of obesity sickness and sadness?
There is war in the dietary advise realm of health. One believes that technology foods are our the answer to our health problems the other believes that we should eat food from nature and nothing out of a package.
So which camp would you like to be in? Would you like to be in the camp that seems to be full of people who have a life that goes like this; sick, sad, sick, sad, sick, sad, sick dead! Or would you rather be in the camp where people have a life as follows; happy, healthy, happy healthy, happy healthy happy dead! Yes we are all going to die but the question is how do you want to live?